Handfasting - Full Ceremonial Form
PLEASE NOTE: This ritual is based roughly upon the beautiful one that can be found in Ed Fitch's book "Magical Rites from the Crystal Well", published by Llewellyn. The following is a standardized form for the full ceremonial handfasting. When in actual use, this ritual may be further embellished to suit the taste of couple to be joined.
1.] High Priest 5.] Caller of North
2.] High Priestess 6.] Caller of West
3.] Bride 7.] Caller of South
4.] Groom 8.] Caller of East
Before the ceremony can begin, the area chosen is traditionally swept free of debris and negativity by the Maiden of the Broom, once done the ceremony commences.
High Priestess: With sword, starting at North, circling deosil, the parameter of the circle three times
"Three times round,
Once for the Daughter,
Twice for the Crone,
Thrice for the Mother,
who sits on the throne."
High Priest: Announced in strong Voice
I humbly ask the attendance of the Elementals of life!
Caller of East: Said in strong voice, whilst pouring water into a bowl
"Welcome, O'powers of Water! Bless this couple with a love as deep as any ocean! May richness of body, of soul and of spirit be theirs ever more!
places bowl at eastern point of the circle, bows & retires
Caller of South: Said in Strong Voice, whilst lighting a red candle
"Welcome, O'powers of Fire! Ignite the Passion and the Love for this blessed pair. Ever burning, yet never consuming one or the other!"
places candle at southern point of circle, bows & retires
Caller of West: Said in Strong Voice, whilst igniting incense in censer
"Welcome, O'powers of Air! With clever fingers weave tightly the bonds of Heart, Spirit and Love between these two! Let none undo the fabric of their love!
Places censer at western point of circle, bows & retires
Caller of North: Said in Strong Voice, whilst filling bowl with soil
"Welcome, O'powers of Earth! Bless this man, this woman with thy strength
and wisdom. To be theirs as long as love lasts!"
places bowl at northern point of circle, bows & retires
Callers, East, South, West & North : Said in Strong Voice, in Unision
"Gracious Goddess, Gentle God, Grant this blessed pair thy love and protection."
High Priest: In strong voice
"Who comes forth at this time to petition the Lord and Lady's Attention?"
Caller of East: Said as caller draws bride into the circle
Caller of West: Said as caller draws groom into circle
"and this Man."
High Priestess: Said in Strong Voice
"And their reason?"
Couple to be joined: In unision
"For the beauty of love!"
High Priest: In strong voice, standing before altar, taking man's right hand and woman's left hand.
"We gather here this night/day in a ritual of love. You, (bride's name) and Thee, (groom's name) stand here before your friends, the elements, the Lord and Lady to join together as the beginning of a family. For before there can be three, there must be two."
High Priestess: Joining couple's hands, with them facing each other
"(groom's name), what do you have to offer this woman for her love?"
Groom: Groom gets down on one knee
"I present to her my love and my pledge. May I never knowingly or willingly do such a thing to harm, nor greive, her in any form or fashion. Accept this my athame, as a token of my trust. Like its blade, may my love be as strong. Like its metal may our love be enduring. Accept it my love, for that which is mine is yours."
Bride: Said in Strong Voice
My Love, I accept your pledge, and your love, as I accept thy blade. Know what is in my heart, as I know what is in thine. The magic of my will, of my love, shall ever be thine.
HIGH PRIEST: Said in Strong Voice
"(bride's name), and what do offer in return for the love of this man?"
Bride: Said in Strong Voice
I present to him my love and this pledge. May I never knowingly or willingly do such a thing to harm, nor greive, him in any form or fashion. Accept this, my jewel, my treasure, as a token of my trust. Just as its bright gleam, may our love glow. Like the stone that it is its essence, may our love be as enduring. Accept it my love, for that which is mine is yours.
Groom: Said in Strong Voice
My Love, I accept your pledge and your love, as I accept thy jewel. Know what is in my heart, as I know what is in thine. The magic of my will, of my love, shall ever be thine.
High Priest: Binds couple's right hands in the traditional manner, In strong voice
"With this binding I tie you, heart to heart, together as one. With this knot you are joined in sacred union. May the Lord and Lady smile upon thee, and bless you with health and prosperity!"
High Priestess: In strong voice
May neither take advantage of the other. For remember what one may not provide, the other may!
High Priest: Placing wedding bands on the fingers of the couple. In Strong Voice.
"Your Vows have now been heard by all. These rings, like your vows, are without beginning or end. Now placed, they represent a seal of your love and respect for each other."
Offering Chalice to couple to drink from. In Strong Voice.
"This is your first drink together as man and wife. May you never thrist."
High Priestess: Offering Bread to couple to eat from. In Strong Voice.
"This is your first food together as man and wife. May you never hunger."
High Priest: High Priest positions the besom and sword for the couple to jump.
"This will be your first act of working together as Husband and Wife. May the sword cut all ties with the old and the besom sweep them away"
High Priest & Priestess lead the couple to jump the broom and sword.
High Priest: Removes binding and holds it overhead. In strong voice
"I present to you Mrs.(bride's name) and her Husband, Mr. (groom's name)
High Priestess: In strong voice
We thank the elementals of life for their attendance this day/night and ask they go forth and herald this union.
Caller of East: In strong voice, raising bowl overhead
Hail o'powers of water! Thank thee for thy attention! Sally forth and announce to all this union!
Caller of South: In strong voice, raising candle overhead
Hail o'powers of fire! Thank thee for thy attention! Sally forth and announce to all this union!
Caller of West: In strong voice, raising censer overhead
Hail o'powers of air! Thank thee for thy attention! Sally forth and announce to all this union!
Caller of North: In strong voice, raising bowl of earth
Hail o'powers of earth! Thank thee for the attention! Sally forth and announce to all this union!
High Priestess: With sword, starting at north, circling widdershin the parameter of the circle three times
Three Times Round,
Once for the daughter,
Twice for the crone,
Thrice for the mother who sits upon the throne!
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